Business comes from many sources, whether that’s direct sales or being recommended by someone – do you know what the most effective source of business is for you?
Take a look at your current batch of customers; how did they find you?
If you don’t know, ask them – it’s an excellent excuse for one of those ‘how’s it going?’ chats that often result in testimonials or referrals – or both.
Beware being too general as this won’t help you to invest in the things that make a significant difference to your ongoing business growth.
If someone says ‘I found you online’ does that mean:
- They searched with Google and found your website
- They connected up with you on LinkedIn
- They saw a Facebook ad you’re running
- They were searching on Pinterest
- They found your Instagram posts
- Someone recommended you in response to their Twitter request ‘Does anyone know a good …’
These are not the same thing and it’s important to know where your business comes from so you can justify the costs and time you invest.
‘I get my leads from networking’ is that from:
- A regular networking group you attend
- Random networking you do around your area
- Your online networking, for instance, connecting with potential clients on LinkedIn and starting conversations with them
- An industry body you belong to – institutes and associations.
Whatever networking activities you do have a cost, whether that’s your time, money or both. Knowing what your return on investment is will make a difference to where you invest.
‘My business comes from advertising’, but which ads are working?
- Local press
- Industry journals for your target market
- Google ads
- Facebook ads
- Banner ads on other websites
- TV and radio
- Billboards or static ads around the community (e.g. bus stops, petrol stations, etc)
Having spent money on advertising that never worked (Yellow Pages didn’t do it for us, but I know lots of people they really worked for), it’s too easy to keep existing strategies going – in case they work. However, most of these things eat up a chunk of your annual marketing budget – it’s important to know how well they’re working.
‘Most of my customers come by word of mouth’, so who is your best advocate?
- People in your local networking circle
- Existing clients
- Friends and family
- Online networking connections
- Social groups
Many business owners get business by recommendation. If you know who your best recommenders are, you’ll be able to nurture them, thank them and, if possible, repay the compliment. Better still you may be able to ‘recruit’ more people like them.
If you know where your business flows from, you will spend less and get better results.